The Wanderers Academy NPL 1 first grade side have gone down to Wollongong Wolves 1-0 at a windy Albert Butler Memorial Park.
The windy conditions made life difficult for both sides, as neither could control the game. This made for a fairly end-to-end beginning to the match, with the Wollongong Wolves having the better of the chances.
Former A-League player Josh Bingham caused havoc in the air, using his height to his advantage.
The Wanderers had some half chances of their own through Ali Auglah and Thomas Aquilina, but the final blow was lacking.
Bingham took full advantage of his height in the 32nd minute of the match when he headed home a contentious goal. Oliver Kalac jumped high and tried to claim the cross, while at the same time Bingham jumped up to try and win the header. With both players meeting the ball at around the same time, Bingham was the player who made stronger contact and headed the ball into the net, despite appearing that Kalac had hands on the ball. Kalac and the Wanderers defence protested, but referee Kurt Ams awarded the goal.
The second half began cagey, with the wind still having an impact on the quality of play.
The Wanderers created a little more, with Thomas Aquilina and Ali Auglah linking up well as they have done on many occasions throughout the season.
Kosta Grozos let fly from outside the box, while Auglah danced around a couple of challenges inside the box, but both were ultimately lacking a crucial finish.
Wollongong had a couple more half chances to Josh Bingham and Marcus Beattie, but both lacked the conviction.
Despite the Red & Black pushing for an equaliser, which included Patrick Zwaanswijk emptying his bench, the controversial first-half goal was the decisive moment in the match and all that separated the two teams.
Wollongong Wolves 1 (Josh Bingham 32’)
Western Sydney Wanderers 0
Western Sydney Wanderers: 40. Oliver KALAC (GK), 2. Thomas AQUILINA (16. Jacob VASILIOU 67’), 4. Mohamed AL TAAY (c) (5. Noah PAGDEN 67’), 6. Fabian MONGE (30. Bilal CHAHINE 79’), 7. Jarrod CARLUCCIO (15. George ANTONIS 85’), 10. Kosta GROZOS (9. Dauntae MARINER 67’), 13. Tass MOURDOUKOUTAS, 17. Dean PELEKANOS, 19. Rory JORDAN, 21. Ali AUGLAH, 23. Jamie PERCEVSKI
Unused Substitutes: 50. Jack GIBSON (GK)
Other NPL Results
U20: Wollongong Wolves 0-2 WSW
U18: Sydney United 2-4 WSW
U16: Sydney United 3-1 WSW
U15: Sydney United 2-6 WSW
U14: Sydney United 0-3 WSW
U13: Sydney United 0-3 WSW